Wal-Mart is getting ready to release a fast-shipping subscription service similar to that of Amazon Prime, according to The Information. Though Amazon has had a clear head-start, could Wal-Mart theoretically join the ring, albeit slightly late in the game?
Wal-Mart has been working on a Prime-like program for a while now, sources told The Information, but due to technical difficulties, the launch was delayed from its planned date before last year's holidays and is expected to take place in the next few weeks or early summer.
A Wal-Mart spokesman told the Associated Press the service will cost $50 a year, less than the $99-a-year Prime costs. In the beginning, it won't include perks like video and music streaming, as opposed to the Instant Video and music service that comes along with a Prime subscription. Wal-Mart already offers same-day delivery of groceries in five cities, but it will have to make significant investments to reach Amazon's speed of delivery.
In 2014, Amazon disclosed it paid "billions of dollars for Prime shipping and invested $1.3 billion in Prime Instant Video."
For a while now, Wal-Mart has had some significant technological difficulties and been mocked for its stumbling approach to e-commerce. But Wal-Mart is trying to do better. In February, on the fourth-quarter earnings call, all of the executives on the call acknowledged that they have a lot of room for improvement in e-commerce.